Susie Bonvouloir is a senior executive leader of Human Resources at SourceAmerica, a large non-profit focused on creating jobs for people with significant disabilities. Susie has proven operational strength in business transformation, mergers and acquisitions, HR strategy, leadership development and HR initiatives such as performance management, employee engagement and communication.
Previously, at CGI, as the Vice President of Human Resources, Susie provided critical and strategic council to CGI's leadership, including the President of CGI US, Europe and Asia and the President of CGI Federal. Throughout her career at CGI, Susie led integration of HR processes for key outsourcing clients and company acquisitions. She pioneered the implementation of the CGI US Leadership Assessment process and Leadership Development program. Susie was hand-picked to lead the integration of a $900M acquired company, bringing 5,000 new employees into CGI, doubling the existing employee base and revenue of CGI US.
Susie began her career with AMS as system developer and Project Manager, leading system implementation projects for major clients in Financial Services and Telecommunications, before moving into the HR arena.
Susie earned her BBA in Business with a Computer Information Systems concentration from James Madison University. She is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).
Susie currently serves on the JMU CoB Board of Advisors and the CIS Executive Advisory Board. She is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management and has been involved in the DC Human Resources Leadership Awards (HRLA), as a finalist and judge.
Allison Browne Weiss
"Listen, learn, and then lead" - John Mickelthwait
Allison Browne is a professional journalist with nearly 20 years experience in television, radio and print news. Currently, she is a Line Producer for Bloomberg TV in New York City. Browne has worked for some of the most notable networks in the U.S. - including Bloomberg, Associated Press, ABC News and the Fox News Channel. She helped launch Fox Business Network in 2007 as one of its original producers.
Her experience covering markets propelled her career globally - producing for CNBC Asia in Singapore. At CNBC, she supervised content and correspondents in Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Seoul and Sydney.
Allison Browne graduated James Madison University with a Mass Communications degree in 1998. She cut her teeth in television production nearby, at WHSV-TV in Harrisonburg. From there, Browne spent time producing in Washington DC, for WJLA-ABC 7 TV, Newschannel8, ABC News Radio and the AP. She was also a correspondent for Metro Networks and WTOP Radio. While in the Washington area, she covered presidential elections, gubernatorial races, the 2003 sniper attacks, and 9/11.
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“Always start your day with your five most important things list. Do the most difficult first and the rest will follow.”
Regan Byrne is a seasoned arts administration executive with over 30 years of experience in strategic planning, community outreach, public affairs, and integrated consumer marketing and management for non-profit arts groups, commercial Broadway corporations and university performing arts centers. Ms. Byrne has served as the Executive Director of the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts at James Madison University since it opened in 2010. She oversees the day to day operations for the five theatre state-of-the-art complex, schedules over 300 live events per year, books world-class professional theatre, dance, and music performers for the yearly Masterpiece Season and master classes for students, and works directly with JMU’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. She administers all front of house and box office operations, key community outreach initiatives and educational programs, technical production for the Concert Hall and the Recital Hall, sponsorship sales, special events, and audience development efforts.
Prior to JMU, she worked as Director of Community Relations, Marketing and Sponsorship for Key Brand Entertainment / Broadway in Boston, New England’s leading presenter operating 2 theaters, and generating annual revenues up to $40M. She managed budgets up to $6M and oversaw all strategic sales planning for over 13 Broadway touring shows per year. She created the brand ‘Broadway in Boston’ which was subsequently adopted for touring markets across the U.S. She oversaw all marketing outreach, advocacy and strategic partnerships and directed sales initiatives for the re-opening of the newly restored Opera House, with a 32-week run of Disney’s The Lion King. As Boston Ballet’s Director of Marketing and Public Relations, she directed all sales, corporate and retail partnerships. She also served as Arena Stage’s Director of Communications for 10 seasons and, prior to that, worked as Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington D.C., and as Center Manager for Northwestern University’s Theatre and Dance Center.
LinkedIn – Regan Byrne
Catherine Crooks Hill
“Love many, hate few. Learn to paddle your own canoe.”
Catherine was graduated from JMU in 1989, with a major in Public Administration and a minor in Political Science. She was graduated in 1995 from the University of Baltimore School of Law. One summer while in law school, she served as a Governor’s Fellow, working in the Civil Division of the Office of the Attorney General of Virginia. After law school, Catherine returned to the Attorney General’s Office, where she served as a trial attorney in the Civil Division from 1995-2014, defending hundreds of matters on behalf of the Commonwealth, its agencies and officials, in state and federal courts throughout Virginia. In addition, she served as counsel to the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners from 2003-2014, and she managed and supervised the attorneys and staff of the General Civil Unit from 2008-2014. On January 1, 2015, the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners appointed Catherine Secretary-Treasurer. She is only the fourth person (and the first woman) to serve as Secretary to the Board since its creation over 100 years ago.
Catherine serves on the Executive Committee of the Lewis F. Powell, Jr. American Inn of Court, and is Chair of the JMU Political Science Department Alumni Board. Catherine is an active member of the Richmond Bar Association and the Metro Richmond Women’s Bar Association, where she served as President from 2006-2007. She is also Past President of the Collegiate School Alumni Board, and Past President of the Board of Directors of Safe Harbor, a Richmond-area sexual and domestic violence organization. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband Corey, their two children, and their Giant Schnauzer. In her spare time, she enjoys scuba diving and traveling with her family.
"To add value to others, one must first value others.” - John C. Maxwell
Kelly Femenella has over 12 years of regulatory compliance experience in the banking industry, which has been an area of exponential growth over the past few years following the mortgage meltdown. She is a Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager, providing expert advice and guidance on various banking regulations, such as Fair Lending, Privacy, and the Community Reinvestment Act. During her career, she has worked for banking institutions of various sizes, including Lehman Brothers and Aurora Bank. Currently, she is a Director with Wells Fargo Bank and the Compliance Manager for the Government & Institutional Banking Group, which provides banking services to government, not-for-profit healthcare and large non-profit customers. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications Management from JMU and a Master of Business Administration from Seton Hall University. In her spare time, Kelly may be found singing at local events or spending time with her husband and two sons.
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"Real leaders are not blinded by the trappings of power but recognize their role as servant." -Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Dr. Joan B. Johnson is the Director of Teacher Education at the Virginia Department of Education with responsibilities for coordinating the teacher preparation accreditation and approval program process state-wide, including facilitation and review; providing technical consultation and guidance; providing focus to teacher education programs and related initiatives consistent with the Code of Virginia and regulations; coordinating selected teacher education recognition programs; managing grant programs; collecting data to respond to federal and state reporting requirements; and making policy determinations.
Prior to joining the Virginia Department of Education, Dr. Johnson was deeply engaged in higher education administration for various Virginia institutions of higher education including Associate Dean, School of Education, Norfolk State University and department chair of Elementary Education, Student Affairs, and Career Switcher programs with Regent University. During her 15-year tenure with Regent University, she developed skills and research interest in the areas of accreditation, program evaluation, and program review. Collaboratively with the faculty and staff of Regent University, Dr. Johnson led the School of Education to receive full national accreditation with Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) in 2009. Dr. Johnson was appointed in 2013 for a two-year term to the Teacher Education Accreditation Council’s Commission governing body.
Dr. Johnson earned her doctorate in Urban Education Administration from Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, a M.Ed. in Educational Counseling from the University of Virginia, and holds a B.S. in Psychology from James Madison University.
"Servant leaders care about people's lives, not just their jobs"- Skip Prichard
Debbie currently serves as the Surgical Services Manager for the Endoscopy and Cardiothoracic Operating Room at Sentara RMH Medical Center in Harrisonburg, VA. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from JMU in 1987. She began working at Rockingham Memorial Hospital upon graduation as spent her entire nursing career there. The majority of her career has been working in Peri-operative care. She began her nursing leadership journey six years ago when she became the manager of the Endoscopy department. In May of 2015, she earned a Master of Science of Nursing Degree from JMU and is currently enrolled in the Doctorate of Nursing Program at JMU with an anticipated graduation date of December 2017. She is a board-certified nurse executive. Debbie lives in New Market, VA with her husband Jim and cocker spaniel, Kailey. She enjoys spending time with family, reading, and cooking.
LinkedIn - Debbie Kile
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." -Philippians 4:13
Information Technology Training & Development Manager at James Madison University.
After relocating home to Elkton from Dallas, Texas, Esther Nizer started working for JMU in 1999. She is responsible for training on JMU’s Core systems and office productivity applications. She has conducted over 1,000 training sessions in the past 10 years. She has twice presented at the national Higher Education User Group Conference (Alliance).
After returning home Esther became active in the local community by serving on the board of the Elkton Area United Services, a United Way agency and the Elkton Cemetery Commission. She has served as President of the Harrisonburg Rockingham County NAACP for 4 years and Corresponding Secretary of the Charlottesville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She currently serves as the advisor to the JMU branch of the NAACP and the Iota Alpha chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Esther is active in her church, Mt Paran Baptist Church in Elkton, where she is the current Treasurer/Finance Clerk and Sunday school teacher. She has served in the Berean Valley Baptist Association as Correspondence Secretary and in the Western District Church School Convention as President.
She earned her B.S from Morgan State University and her M.S.Ed from James Madison University in Adult Education Human Resources Development (AHRD).
LinkedIn - Esther Nizer
"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then you are a leader."
- John Quincy Adams
Lauren Steinbrecher, formerly Lauren Sauer, was named volleyball head coach at James Madison on Jan. 25, 2010. In her sixth season at the helm of the Dukes, Steinbrecher earned her 100th career win in a 3-1 victory over Northeastern on Oct. 9. With the program's best start since 1999 and claiming the regular season title, she was named the Colonial Athletic Association Co-Coach of the Year for the second time in her career. Under her leadership, the top-seeded Dukes (12-4) hosted the CAA Volleyball Tournament for the first time since 2002. The Dukes finished the 2015 season reaching the semifinals in the CAA Tournament where they faced #5 Charleston. JMU finished the season with a 22-8 record highlighted by a 14 game win streak for the first time since 1987.
Identified in 2009 by the American Volleyball Coaches Association as one of the “30 best coaches in the country under the age of 30,” Steinbrecher came to JMU following three years as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Kentucky. Prior to her time at Kentucky, Steinbrecher competed professionally for one year in Almeria, Spain, after a stellar four-year collegiate career at Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets reached the NCAA Championships all four years of her career, including trips to the quarterfinals in 2003 and the round-of-16 in 2004. Georgia Tech won a pair of Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season championships (2003, 04) as well as the tournament championship in 2002. Steinbrecher earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Management in December 2005. She is a native of Huntsville, Ala., and resides in Harrisonburg with husband, Casey, and son, Luke.
"Every day is a new opportunity."
Kelly Spraker serves as Manager of Communications and External Affairs for Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. She was appointed by Governor Terry McAuliffe in February 2014. In her current role, she assists the Secretary with the management of 13 agencies and coordinates all Commerce and Trade related communications and events. In addition, she serves as the lead on the Governor’s Virginia International Trade Alliance (VITAL) initiative for the Secretary’s Office.
Prior to her appointment, Kelly was a member of the corporate team at CarLotz, Inc., a Richmond-based car consignment business, where she managed event planning and customer engagement. During the administration of then Governor Mark Warner, she served as Special Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff and Special Assistant to the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Social Services. Kelly earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from James Madison University, where she also received a Minor in French language. She is a native of Richmond, Virginia, where she currently lives with her husband Stephen, and their two sons, Talbot and Charlie.
LinkedIn – Kelly Spraker
“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow. Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it… Autograph your work with excellence.” Vince Lombardi
Judith R. Trumbo is the President and CEO of VMRC, (Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community), a community in Harrisonburg, VA, for persons who desire to “age well and live fully.” Prior to coming to VMRC, Judith served in a variety of capacities at Sentara RMH including as the Director of Home and Community Health for 20 years and as the Transition Planning Director for the successful relocation of RMH to its new health campus in 2010. She was instrumental in the startup of Generations Crossing, an innovative intergenerational daycare. She served on the boards of Harrisonburg-Rockingham United Way, RMH Foundation, Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce Board, Harrisonburg Community Health Center and is a trustee of Eastern Mennonite University. Ms. Trumbo earned a M.B.A. from James Madison University in 1989 and a B.S.N. from Eastern Mennonite University in November 1982.
LinkedIn – Judith Trumbo
"Choose your battles."
Dr. Linette M. Watkins is a Professor and Department Head in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at James Madison University. She received her B.S. degree in Biochemistry from Trinity University (1989) and her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from University of Notre Dame (1996). After completing a postdoctoral appointment at Texas A&M University, she joined the faculty at Texas State University in 1997, where she remained until moving to JMU as department head in 2014. Her research interests focus on understanding the mechanism of enzymes involved in the bacterial desulfurization of fossil fuels. She is actively involved in promoting early involvement in undergraduate research, facilitating research collaborations between two year and four year college faculty, engaging two year college students in research opportunities and using undergraduate research as a tool for the recruitment and retention of underrepresented students in the chemical sciences. Over the last ten years, she has mentored over 60 undergraduate students including several from local two year colleges. During the 2006-2007 academic year, Dr. Watkins was a National Science Foundation Senior Discovery Corps Fellow, developing a collaborative research community between Texas State and San Antonio College. She is an active member of the American Chemical Society, serving as a leader at the local, regional and national levels. In the ACS, Dr. Watkins has been a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion as the Chair of the Committee on Minority Affairs, through the ACS Scholars, and as a founding member of the Women Chemists of Color program. She also served as a local section leader in the Central Texas local section, as Chair of the 2011 Southwest Regional Meeting, and as the organizer of Minority Affairs Subdivision programming for the Division of Professional Relations. In 2014, Dr. Watkins was named an ACS Fellow recognizing her outstanding achievements in and contributions to science, the profession, and the Society.
LinkedIn – Linette Watkins
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." --Winston Churchill
Christine Webb is an Analyst within the Leveraged Finance Sales group for Goldman Sachs focusing on the structuring, marketing, syndicating, and trading of leveraged loans in the global capital markets. Christine began her career at Goldman Sachs after graduating from James Madison University in May 2014 and interning for the Goldman Sachs Securities Division during the summer of 2013. Ms. Webb holds a BBA in Finance with a concentration in Financial Analysis and is currently a Level II candidate in the Chartered Financial Analyst program. During her time at JMU, she was actively involved in the Madison Investment Fund. Christine lives in New York, New York and enjoys cooking, snowboarding, and traveling.
LinkedIn - Christine Webb